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WBH_2023 President

The other day I was looking at news articles on my phone and one popped up that interested me. It stated that a certain animal, because of global warming, has migrated in greater numbers farther north than normal. My first thought was red fox, cottontail rabbit or maybe even whitetail deer. So, this article piqued my interest quite a lot and I read on. But, No!! As I started reading the article it became clear they were talking about those pesky, buzzing, biting, blood sucking mosquitos! Sorry, I thought to myself, we have enough of them critters up here already without more migrating north, supposedly because of global warming. They can head back south anytime now. And since when are they considered critters?

Seriously though, the past few months have been very busy, both personally and as the new President of WBH. I have had to learn some new obligations which I have not dealt with in the past as either the WBH secretary or vice president. Each day is a new challenge which I am ready to take on for the future and the betterment of WBH.  I am committed to working to the best of my capabilities, with the support of your board of directors, to Preserve, Promote and Protect bowhunting and to support you, as a valued member.

The WBH board of directors is always listening and is interested in what our members and other archery clubs have to say.  This feedback can hopefully lead to ideas that help WBH grow and improve in many areas, such as our annual convention, state broadhead shoot and other functions that WBH provides to support WBH members and the WBH mission.  Please feel free to contact your district director to share your thoughts.

Over the past few years, the WBH State Broadhead Shoot committee and the WBH board have struggled to figure out ways to increase the number of shooters competing at this annual event. Some thought that if we allowed non WBH members to shoot we may increase the number of shooters at the shoot, and maybe pick up new members. While we had some reservations, we thought it was worth a try. So, for the past two years non WBH members could enter our shoot without being members. Statistics show that not making shooters be members of WBH did not increase the number of shooters, and had a negative effect on overall membership for those two years. Therefore, at the last WBH board meeting it was decided that for the 2023 WBH State Broadhead Shoot we will return to our old rules which state that you must be a WBH member to participate. The WBH State Broadhead shoot is a proud tradition of WBH. It has been the state’s largest broadhead shoot for many years. This year the shoot will be held September 8th, 9th and 10th at Kennedy Park in New Lisbon. For many, the shoot is the culmination of a summer’s worth of practice and is held just one week before the Wisconsin whitetail deer archery season opener. Come and enjoy the day either by yourself or as a group and test your skills against other archers.

As time moves forward so must WBH. Modern times are scary to some of us older members, but we realize that if WBH is going to exist in the future we must adapt. WBH does have a website and is on Facebook. As an organization, we may need to improve our presence and participation in the social media world.  In the coming months we will continue to review our website to make it as easily accessible as possible, while providing fresh and relevant content to our members.

I would like to see WBH become a more member involved organization. When members are involved, they feel more invested in WBH, and the future of WBH. In the past few magazines, you may have seen an ad which asks members if they would be interested in assisting WBH in some way or another with ongoing activities. Having WBH members on committees and participating within WBH will create a more diverse organization, better in tune with exactly what our members desire from WBH.

In reading an article about a recent survey of American’s attitudes towards legal regulated hunting and trapping, and regulated shooting events, I was surprised at some of the statistics. An estimated 2,000 people were polled, which to me is not many for a poll. But the results show a trend which I do not like. The results were compared to a similar survey taken by the same organization in 2019. The survey numbers show the difference between the two surveys. Cited was a decrease of 4% of those polled being in favor of supporting legal hunting (from 81%, down to 77%). Further, 17% said they did not support any type of legal hunting no matter what, up from 15% in the previous survey.  Also, 70% approved of hunting deer and 69% supported the hunting of turkeys. When statistics were compiled about the use of archery equipment the survey showed 69% supported the use of archery equipment to harvest game, while 66% were in favor of firearm use. Finally, 81% of Americans over 55 years of age were in favor of hunting by legal methods, while 69% of those in the ages of 18-34 supported hunting. The midwestern states had the highest percentage of citizens in favor of hunting by legal methods, at 86%.  After reading this article I think we and WBH need to actively introduce or maybe reintroduce hunting, trapping and shooting to more new people, especially the younger generations.

As each day, and each week ticks by, it is drawing us nearer to the fall hunting seasons. Please be safe, enjoy yourself, and Thank God for this great world he created for us.

Rich Kirchmeyer

WBH President



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